Sardinian States. - The exhibition of the Sardinian States was in the gallery on the left as you enter. There were 18 artists who had painted 36 pictures.
The most important painting in this exhibition was by M. G. Ferri, of Bologna, a pupil of M. Delaroche. It represented a young wounded Soldier, sent back to his family, hearing the news of the death of his general, the ex-King of Sardinia, Charles-Albert, who died in Oporto (Portugal), on 28 July 1849, shortly after his abdication (1915). Mr. Giacomelli, from Venice, exhibited a painting with Portraits of the King of Sardinia Victor-Emmanuel, the Duke of Genoa, the Prince of Carignan and General la Marmora (1920); Mr. Gamba from Turin, a Storm on the coast of Porto-Venere, at the entrance to the Gulf of La Spezia (1917); Mr. Porroti from Turin, a View of Capri and the Gulf of Naples (1922)
Belgium. - Belgium was one of the best represented nations at the Exposition Universelle des Beaux-Arts; it maintained its ancient reputation honourably. The paintings sent were numerous, some of them very beautiful; 108 Belgian artists exhibited 206 paintings. Belgium started after Sardinia, in the same gallery.
We will quote the most remarkable works, following the order in which they were presented to visitors. First we found :
Le Lendemain du bal, by M. Ch. Wauters, of Antwerp ( 473); Godefroy de Bouillon à l'assaut de Jérusalem, en 1099, by M. Verlat, of Antwerp (460), belonging to the Belgian government; a Clair de lune, by M. Winter, of Antwerp (304).
Further on we find the Promenade, by Mr. Lies, of Antwerp (364), a rather valuable painting.
Next came: the Last farewell, by M.- De-groux, of West Flanders (284); the Siesta, by M. Alfred Stevens (411), one of the most distinguished painters in Belgium; Bread and Wine (395), by M. Robie, of Brussels; the Philosopher without knowing it, by Rabelais (418): it is a dog gnawing on a bone, by M. Joseph Stevens, the brother of M. Alfred Stevens, his brother also by talent. Mr. J. Stevens had exhibited, two years ago, a painting which had obtained a great success, of Dogs dragging a cart, loaded with sand, with this epigraph: "A dog's job. "It was last exhibited in the Belgian Salon. La Fête au château (369), by M. Madou, of Brussels; a Synagogue (435), by M. Van-Hove Hubert, of The Hague (Holland); Souvenir du château de Petersenne (291), by M. de Knyff, of Brussels; the New Lord (272), by the late Coulon, of Nivelles (Brabant), pupil of M. E. Isabey; the First White Hair (273), by the same artist; a View of the Beach of Blankenberghe (360), by M. Lehon, of Hainaut; the Dyke of Westcapelle on a Fair Day (308), by M. Dillens, of Ghent; this painting belongs to the King of the Belgians.
Mr. Ch. Wauters had sent a large canvas (471), representing the Reading of the death warrant pronounced against the baron of Montigny, at the castle of Simancas (Spain), by order of Philip II; it is a souvenir of the Spanish occupation. This painting had a very nice effect.
We found a souvenir of the Campine (borders of Holland), by M. de Knyff (290); a carriage leaving the quarries (432), by M. Van-der-Vin, of Ghent; a market in the Hague, with a night effect, by M. Van-Schendel, which the French pronounce vend chandelles, because this artist, of great merit, had the speciality of light effects.
Mr. J. Stevens had exhibited a charming canvas representing an Episode of the Paris Dog Market (413).
We now crossed the Sardinian gallery, to take up the Belgian school, on the opposite wall to the one we had just visited.
We found M. Van-Schendel, who painted a View of Rotterdam, with moon and light effect (448); M. Bossuet, from Ypres, a Souvenir du lac des Quatre-Cantons (399); then came a portrait of Mme Léontine Fay-Volnys, by M. Alexis Fay, her son-in-law, residing in Brussels (319); an Interior of a forest, by M. Kuyten-Brower, from Brussels (350); the Day of Saint Thomas (281), by M. de Brackeleer, of Antwerp, a painting belonging to the king of the Belgians; Adrien Villaert, of Bruges (341), having a mass in music of his own composition performed, the first, it is said, to have been done, a painting belonging to the Belgian government, by M. Hamman, of Ostend; a Landscape (322), by M. Fourmois, of Namur; a House of Charity at Malines (423), by M. Stroobant, of Brussels.
M. Verboeckhoven, the most famous animal painter in Belgium with M. Robbe, had exhibited a Bergerie campinoise (453), M. Portaels of Brussels, a pupil of M. Delaroche, had exhibited several paintings of great merit. He is an artist of serious talent, worthy in every respect of the reputation that his works have earned him. His exhibition this year attracted a lot of attention. The Caravan in Syria surprised by the simoun (385) was a very beautiful thing. Mr. Portaels saw what he painted. Next to this painting were two delightful figures: a Jewess from Asia Minor (389), a Young Woman from the vicinity of Trieste (388); the Suicide of Judas (384) was a dark and terrible drama, largely executed.
M. Daems, of Brussels, had represented to us a Hal-lebardier in 1040 (277); M. Dillens, a Tournament of Rings (306); the Good Mother (417), by M. J. Stevens, was next door; then we met a fine picture by M. Mathysen, of Antwerp, a highly esteemed painter, depicting the Court of Miracles, in Paris, during the middle ages. Coquillard (the false pilgrim) and Malingreux (the one who feigns ulcers) were notable. Mr. Mathysen had already obtained a great success at the Brussels Universal Exhibition in 1851 with a painting of the same kind, which was very well executed.
We will end this gallery with the Souvenir de la patrie, by Mr. Alfred Stevens, one of the first works of this artist, and it is not the least good.
We will turn left to enter the Belgian salon.
Some statues were exhibited in this gallery: we noticed, among others, a very beautiful bronze by Mr. E. Cabuchet (4264), representing Saint Vincent de Paul. In addition to an exact likeness, the artist had given this venerable pastor a happy expression of physiognomy.
If we follow this gallery to the end, we will encounter four sculptures that we will mention here. These were :
- Baron Larrey (4560), by M. Robinet, of Paris,
- Buffon (4355), by M. Dumont, of the Institute,
- Mahé de la Bourdonnais (4563), by Rochet,
- Hercules (4250), by M. Bonheur.
© Guide to the Palais de l'Industrie et des Beaux-Arts 1855